Agent: Janet Silver
Monique Truong is the acclaimed author of the novels The Book of Salt (Houghton Mifflin), the story of Gertrude Stein's young Vietnamese cook, and Bitter in the Mouth (Random House). The Book of Salt was a national bestseller and the recipient of the New York Public Library Young Lions Award and the Asian American Literary Award, among many other honors. Bitter in the Mouth won the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was named one of the 25 Best Fiction Books of 2010 by Barnes & Noble. The recipient of a PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship, Princeton University's Hodder Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, she serves on the board of the Authors Guild and is Chair of the Awards Committee of the PEN/American Center.
Bitter in the Mouth
By Monique Truong | Random House, 2011
Bitter in the Mouth is a brilliant, virtuosic novel about a young woman's search for identity and the true meaning of family. "What I know about you, little girl, would break you in two" are the prophetic last words that Linda Hammerick's grandmother says to her. Growing up in small-town North Carolina in the 1970s and '80s, Linda already knows that she is profoundly different from everyone else, including the members of her own family. She can "taste" words. In this and in other ways, her body is a mystery to her. Linda's awkward girlhood is nonetheless enlivened and emboldened by her dancing great-uncle Harper, and Kelly, her letter-writing best friend. Linda makes her way north to college and then to New York City, trying her best to leave her past behind her like "a pair of shoes that no longer fit." But when a family tragedy compels her to return home, Linda uncovers the startling secrets of her past. Monique Truong's acclaimed novel questions our assumptions about what it means to be a family and to be a friend, to be foreign and to be familiar, to be connected to and disconnected from our bodies, our histories, ourselves.